Microsoft creates mysterious new version of Windows 10 for Chinese government

'We are pleased with the transparency and objectiveness of their review process'

Aatif Sulleyman
Tuesday 23 May 2017 13:44
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The company hasn’t shared any specific details about how the software has been modified
The company hasn’t shared any specific details about how the software has been modified

Microsoft has built a new version of Windows 10 specifically for the Chinese government.

The company announced the new version of the operating system at an event in Shanghai, but hasn’t shared many specific details about how the software has been modified.

Microsoft has been known to be working on a Chinese government edition of Windows 10 for some time.

It developed the software in partnership with the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, through a joint venture called CMIT.

“With the strong support of CETC and Microsoft, CMIT, our joint venture, has now developed a version of Windows 10 for China government customers,” said Terry Myerson, the executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group.

“This monumental moment was only possible through our partnership and support of the Chinese government.”

This version of Windows 10 lets the government use its own encryption on computers and remove certain features it doesn't like, such as OneDrive, according to Bloomberg.

All updates will be managed by CMIT to ensure that no data leaves China.

Windows 10 is available to consumers in China, but the country’s government isn’t keen on the platform.

It banned government bodies from using Windows 8 after Edward Snowden’s NSA spying revelations, and even partnered with Canonical in 2013 to create a Windows alternative called Kylin, but that project failed.

“For 22 years, Microsoft has had the distinct honor to work in China, learning and advancing technology together,” wrote Mollie Ruiz-Hopper, the editor-in-chief of Windows Blog, in a post announcing the launch.

“For the last two years, we have earnestly cooperated with the Chinese government on the security review of Windows 10. We are pleased with the transparency and objectiveness of their review process. We agree with the outcome of the review.”

According to the company, CMIT will work with customers “in three levels of the government: at the national level with China Customs, at the regional level with City of Shanghai (EITC) and at the state-owned enterprise level with Westone”.

Lenovo will be one of the first OEMs to pre-install Windows 10 China Government Edition on machines.

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